From the “Scratcher” or notebook of Superintendent of Public Instruction Philetus Fales:
June 1, 1868: “Visited School in district 22–Berea. Miss Mosley, teacher. Teaching a good school, but discipline not of a high order. 29 pupils. School house comfortable and fairly seated.”
Oct. 26, 1869: “School commenced Oct. 11th. 5 months school. Mr. A.J. Dawson, teacher. Excellent teacher. Quite a number of large scholars. 40 pupils. Revisited Jan. 14. Doing excellently. Lectured. Subject Common Schools. Divided district Jan 28, 1870.”
1879: “NW 1/4 of SW 1/4 of S3 T17 R20 transferred from district #22 to #45.”
[nggallery id=73] Click on the images to read the captions.
From “The hitching post. . .” column in the Ottawa Herald, a series of articles about early Franklin County schools researched by Bruce Fleming and written by Herald Editor and Publisher Jim Hitch. This article appeared on March 14, 1991.
Berea School, District 22, was located three miles east of Richmond on the northwest corner of the intersection.
Actually, the school was born in Butler County, Pa., in 1855. Excerpts from the Lawrence “Herald of Freedom,” dated July 21, 1855, explain:
“An organization has been effected in Butler County, Pa., for settling a colony in Kansas…with a view of selecting a point in the territory for the selection of their colony.
“The undersigned, desirous of moving west, that they may enjoy some of the advantages afforded by cheap land and rich soil, and at the same time desiring to enjoy religious privileges and good society…do agree to the following rules and regulations for the forming of a colony to emigrate to the Territory of Kansas to be known by the name of the “Berea Colony.”
“This colony shall consist of members of the Associated Reformed Presbyterian Churches and their families…
“A committee to proceed to Kansas as soon as practicable, to select one township, or tract of land 6 miles square as a site on which to settle the colony. It shall be the duty of this committee to cause to be erected a building or buildings as large as they conveniently can, this building or buildings to be used as a place of reception and shelter for the colony on their first arrival and afterwards for a meeting house and school house respectively.
“The whole plot shall be divided into 9 school districts, each two miles square, with roads running north and south and east and west and crossing each other at right angles in the center.
“Each member binds himself or herself to settle on the lot he or she chooses, or someone adjoining the plot, within one year from Oct.1,1855, or forfeit his or her right thereto.
“Each member binds himself or herself to support the gospel in the colony.”
The first school actually opened in 1861 and one of the first teachers was a William Akin.
Berea School was finally closed in 1946 and the last teacher was Pearl Welsh.The last pupils to attend there were: Arlene (Berry) Talbott, Phyllis (Berry) Donaldson, David Perkins, James Chambers, Joan (Lickteig) Rockers, Phillip and Richard Benton, Colleen (Lickteig) Chandler and Billie and Helen Hoyle.
Members of the last school board were Lee Perkins, Clyde Berry and Lonnie Chambers.
Others who taught at Berea were Eunice (Sevems) Bradley, Stella Talbot, Helen D. Walton, Marjory Wilson, Astrid Seiler, Ruth Slopansky, Eula Lankard and Althea Hills.
Among former pupils still living in Franklin County are: Robert Lickteig, Colleen Chandler, Kenneth Cunningham, Arlene (Berry) Talbott, Marilyn Breckenridge Hay, Margaret Hadsall, Tom Chambers and Kenneth Cunningham.
In 1950 , the school board voted to dissolve the school district and turned the building over to the Berea Community Club and Berea 4-H Club.